Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

It’s another lovely day in the neighborhood… although the evil word SNOW has been mentioned on the weather reports! We have yet to see any and are thankful for mild fall weather.

Since the Lakota (Sioux) youth have begun second quarter, we recently held an awards ceremony for quarter one.  The rewards for A and B honor rolls and perfect attendance are a certificate and a WalMart gift card.  If a student is on the honor roll with perfect attendance next quarter, the award may increase in value!  We also have a contest between age groups to see which class can achieve the highest GPA (Grade Point Average).  The one with the highest average gets a pizza party and hangs the award plaque in their classroom.

Lakota (Sioux) students with their teacher.

Ron’s 5th grade class won the award for the highest cumulative GPA for Quarter One!

We honored all veterans and those actively serving our country during Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. THANK YOU just isn’t enough for their sacrifices.

Last Saturday, the Chamberlain Science Club hosted the 1st Annual Hot Chocolate 5K Walk/Run, and it began here on St. Joseph’s campus.  It was a way to celebrate Native American Month and learn about the importance of exercise all year long.  Sanford Hospital set up an informational booth and there were baked goodies and warm drinks for all those taking part.

Students are in the process of learning to sing two Christmas carols in the Lakota language — Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Aside from what they are learning in class, singing songs is a nice way to keep developing the Lakota language skills of our students.

This week, St. Joseph’s is honored to welcome Mr. Lawrence Diggs, our current Artist in Residence. He is helping our students express themselves through poetry!

St. Joseph’s was honored to have one of our Native American Studies teachers, Allen, give a presentation on historical trauma in American Indian History to a college class at Dakota Wesleyan University.  He shared how early boarding schools tried to negate Native American culture and heritage and ‘mold’ them into the white culture by cutting their hair and not letting them speak their native languages.  He also spoke about high rates of unemployment, suicide and sexual assaults currently present on the reservations.

Tree in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel

St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Tree of Remembrance

He also shared positive notes about how the reservations are working hard to combat suicides and offer resources to those who are struggling.  Change will not happen overnight, but he is happy that steps are being taken to get things headed in the right direction and he is proud to be part of that process. Read more in the article that appeared in the Mitchell Daily Republic!

We hope you have a wonderful week.  Say pilamayathank you – to a veteran and let them know you are grateful for their service to our country.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


PS:  The picture shows our tree of remembrance in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel with the names of our Beloved Dead whom we are keeping in prayer this month.

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

What a weekend to be a child!  Our students made the rounds trick-or-treating on campus Friday and then had the chance to dress up again on Halloween itself and make the rounds in Chamberlain.  There were a wide variety of costumes and I had a hard time judging my favorites!  The weather cooperated as well.

Several of the high school homes made the trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to take part in haunted houses and scary corn mazes. On Friday, the National Honor Society students sponsored a dance for the 7th and 8th graders from St. Joseph’s and the Chamberlain community.  The price of admission was a non-perishable food item to be donated to the local food pantry.

Lakota (Sioux) students walk around St. Joseph's campus.

Our Lakota students enjoyed dressing up!

St. Joseph’s National Honor Society has been busy helping local Special Olympics athletes during bowling practices and will be traveling with them this Friday to Aberdeen, South Dakota for the final bowling tournament of their season.

Each of our St. Joseph’s homes are asked to do some sort of outreach every year. The Ambrose Home (boys in grades 1-3) decided to go to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Thompson and help pass out coffee and treats after the Mass. They enjoyed the fellowship, as did the parishioners!

As the year continues to roll by, new sports and activities commence for the Lakota students to enjoy.  The girls’ basketball season opens this week as we host PILC (Pierre Indian Learning Center) and then travel to Crow Creek later in the week.

The intercity basketball program for 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys is also underway. St. Joseph’s students combine with Chamberlain area kids to learn the basics of basketball and get some experience on the court. Coaches from both St. Joseph’s and the Chamberlain school district are assisting.

Lakota (Sioux) students at St. Joseph's Indian School

Our students participated in a costume contest!

Other activities for our Lakota (Sioux) youth include martial arts, wrestling, archery and swimming lessons.  Several of our older students are practicing their skills in Lakota Hand Games. You might remember that our hand games team took first place at the annual Lakota Nation Invitational last year.  They are practicing twice a week for this year’s competition. We’ll keep you informed about how they do this year!

At our Mass on All Saints Day at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel, we had a tree at the front of the chapel decked out with red ribbons. These ribbons bear the names of family and friends who have passed away and are now walking the Red Road.  It is our way of keeping them in prayer, asking the Great Spirit to have mercy on them and welcome them into the Heavenly Kingdom.  We’ll have the tree up all month as we keep the dearly departed in mind.

Hope you’ll have a wonderful month and that you did not overdo it on any Halloween candy you gathered.  May God’s blessings continue to be with you, and thank you for your ongoing support of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

The weather has gifted us with several sunny, beautiful fall days.  This past weekend was an exciting time for the Chamberlain area.

On Saturday, I went to Sioux Falls to watch the State Cross Country races because Ella, a Chamberlain High School freshman and daughter of one of our grade school teachers, was a favorite in Class A and the Lower Brule boys’ team had great success in their Region to qualify for State. Ella dominated from the start and won by 20 seconds, becoming Chamberlain’s first girls’ cross country champion.  The Lower Brule boys came in 5 out of 16 teams.

On Sunday, 21 young people received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. James Parish, the Catholic Church in Chamberlain, from Bishop Paul Swain.

Here on St. Joseph’s campus, the students have all been preparing for Halloween! Several homes went to a local pumpkin patch and picked out pumpkins—some of which will be decorated and entered into a contest! To celebrate Halloween, St. Joseph’s students participate in a Grand March of costumes on Friday after the local trick or treating around campus and a trip through the haunted hallway in school.

Wendy, the lady in charge of our distribution center, is the most popular person on campus during Halloween! She has access to the room where all the necessary ingredients for putting the perfect costume together can be found.

Lakota (Sioux) students dressed up.

The Dennis home is dressed for halloween at school today!

A few weeks ago, two of our senior girls, Mia and Katie, attended the Siena 8th Annual Take Charge Conference in Tucson, Arizona, which is a program for Native American youth. The featured speaker was Matene Jerome from Littleton, Colorado who stood up to elected officials and fought to keep the topics of slavery and treatment of Native Americans in school curriculum.

St. Joseph’s students are taking part in Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. The program serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for the well-being of children through drug prevention programs, education and personal commitments to live drug free.  The program commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who died at the hands of Mexican drug traffickers while fighting against illegal drugs.

Each day of the week has a different theme. Students wore pajamas to class, tie red ribbons around campus and wore crazy caps and mismatched or loud socks while also taking part in trivia contests. St. Joseph’s kicked off Red Ribbon Week last Friday with a Sobriety Carnival complete with inflatables and obstacle courses.

I hope you and yours have had a great week and a wonderful and exciting weekend.  Know we are praying for you and your special intentions as our way of saying pilamayathank you— for your support of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Hello from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Odis, Houseparent

Odis, Houseparent

My name is Odis. Theresa and I currently serve as houseparents in the Cyr Home, working with boys in grades 4-6.

We want to tell you about the trip we took to the South Dakota State Fair this year! The bus trip to Huron, South Dakota took about an hour and a half. Upon our arrival, the boys ran to the carnival rides! The Zipper and the Ring of Fire were the most popular rides– we were surprised to see how brave our fourth graders were as they all went on the scary rides.

After several hours of enjoying the carnival, it was time to see the livestock barns and petting zoo.

The Lakota(Sioux) students enjoyed feeding the camel.

One of St. Joseph’s students in front of a camel!

At the petting zoo the boys fed camels, lamas and other exotic animals. Some of them had never seen a cow being milked and the dairy farmers were more than willing to show us how it worked and where our milk comes from.

We also went through the swine, horse, goat and rabbit barns. The rabbit barn is always a favorite.  We then took the boys to Farm Implement Row!  Even though they are always anxious to get back to the rides, we had to pull them away from trying to climb on and sit in every tractor and combine.

After walking through some of the exhibit tents, we went back to the rides and the fair food.  One courageous soul even gave the mechanical bull a try!  All the other boys were impressed, but did not want to brave it themselves.

South Dakota State Fair day is one of the highlights of the year for our home! The Cyr Home would like to thank you all for your support. Know that we and the Cyr boys pray for you every day.

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

As I was driving home from the Chamberlain High School football game last Friday, I noticed several of the local motels had ‘no vacancy’ signs lit. I couldn’t figure out why so many people were in town …and then it hit me—pheasants.

The South Dakota pheasant season opened Saturday at noon and the color of the day is now blaze orange. This is a very big source of income for the State of South Dakota and local guides.  We offered a prayer at Sunday Mass asking the Great Spirit to keep all hunters safe.

Saturday evening, St. Joseph’s sponsored a concert by Mr. Shane Heilman of The Psalms Project at the Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel on St. Joseph’s campus. The Psalms Project is a group of forty musicians who are working to put all 150 Psalms to music with artistic excellence, Scriptural integrity, and cultural relevance—a marriage of King David’s vision with modern music.

Thus far, they have recorded the first 20 Psalms and are preparing to release their third album with Psalms 21-30. During the concert, Mr. Heilman talked about the project and explained the meaning of the Psalms he performed. Mr. Heilman also helped out with the music at our Sunday liturgy.  To find out more about the project, you can visit their website,

Last week saw the end of the football and volleyball seasons here on campus. There is no downtime, however, for the Lakota students at St. Joseph’s! Our girls and boys began basketball, martial arts, gymnastics and archery practices this week.

Lakota (Sioux) students with German students

Our Lakota (Sioux) students enjoyed learning from our visitors through the German Exchange program.

Our four German exchange students and their chaperone finished their visit to St. Joseph’s Indian School last week after attending a few days of school at Chamberlain High and then touring the Black Hills, the Badlands, Wall Drug and Mount Rushmore. They were also able to take part in a powwow in Rapid City on Native American Day (observed as Columbus Day elsewhere).

They ended their stay with a presentation to our high school students about their hometowns, their families, their hobbies, what sports they like and their favorite foods. Our students hosted a farewell party at the end of the presentation complete with a cake shaped like a piece of luggage.  Our guests stopped in Chicago for a few days to visit the SCJ’s college program for our seminarians before heading home.  The visit was enjoyed by all.

May each of you have a wonderful week as we see the beauty of nature continue to unfold with the changing of the leaves. May we be grateful for the beauty and continue to do our part in protecting Mother Earth.  May God’s blessings be with you now and always.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Melanie works with the Lakota (Sioux) chidren in Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Melanie, Artist in Residence

Good afternoon from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Today’s blog post comes from Melanie, a recent Artist in Residence at St. Joseph’s. Enjoy!

It has been such a blessing to dance with the students of St. Joseph’s through the Artist in Schools program with the South Dakota Arts Council. I was very grateful for the opportunity to be in this incredible gem of a state!

Pam, St. Joseph’s Personal Living Skills Instructor, was a great help in pulling it all together and having the residency run so smoothly!  She was very supportive and helpful and made a world of difference!

With the first through eighth grades, we explored the world of dance from many perspectives!  We danced to music from all of the over the world, from Ireland to Jamaica, Sweden to Oceania, India to Cuba and many other places.

Lakota (Sioux) students learning ballet moves.

Our students enjoyed learning from Melanie!

We explored ballet as a wonderful way to stay in peak performance shape, avoid injuries, build strength, flexibility and balance and respectfully warm up our bodies in the process!  We released some of our pre-conceived ideas about ballet and learned that many professional athletes use ballet in their training.

The dancers also took the ‘ballet class’ taught in the language of ballet, which is French.  They learned that by listening and watching, they could discern much of another language without speaking it.

The dancers explored how to embrace the RESPECT that a dancer is required to have for him/herself, for all others and for all of our environment.  We spent much of our time with creative movement and learning to tap into our own creative spirit, moving through a space filled with other dancers who were also spontaneously improvising…. without bumping into one another!

A St. Joseph's student learns how to dance with props.

A St. Joseph’s student learns how to dance with props.

I LOVED seeing smiling faces of the Lakota children in each class!

We also explored many different props such as cotton bandanas, silk scarves, stretchy loops and silk streamers while we challenged ourselves to dance with others by mirroring or shadowing their movements.  We learned that being a leader of movement means that we are responsible to our followers.

I am very impressed by and appreciative of the “Circle of Courage” that is emphasized at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  I experienced generosity of spirit, independence in creativity, mastery of attempting difficult ‘moves’ and lastly, relationships broadening as they danced together in a new way throughout the residency.

I was sad to leave the wonderful staff, faculty and students, but delighted that I have been blessed by the opportunity to dance with the students at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Thank you kindly.


Artist in Residence

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fall is in the air at St. Joseph’s. Leaves are changing and the students are enjoying the fall days as the football season comes to an end.

On Monday, when most of the country was celebrating Columbus Day, the State of South Dakota celebrated Native American Day.  There was a large powwow in Rapid City on October 10 and a good number of our students participated in the event. They were wonderful representatives of St. Joseph’s!

Monday also saw the start of the school’s second quarter. We started the day with a Prayer Service enhanced by Native American activities at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.  The service began with the entrance of our powwow royalty accompanied by the Chalk Hill Singers’ drum group.  Several students led us in the Four Direction prayer.  There were also readings from the Gospel of Luke and Joseph Marshall III, a member of the Sicangu Lakota Tribe.

Our artist in residence, V.R. Janis, made presentations in the classroom during the rest of the day. Our students learned a lot!

This past Saturday was the 16th Annual River City Band Festival in downtown Chamberlain.  Our 4th, 5th and 6th grade students helped carry banners in the parade. After the parade, the bands gathered at the local athletic field to perform their field shows.  St. Joseph’s drum group, the Chalk Hill Singers presented the Lakota Flag Song after the National Anthem to begin the afternoon festivities.  I believe this is their first public performance outside of a powwow setting — they did a fantastic job!

A Lakota(Sioux) student participates in Explorers.

Kyle, one of St. Joseph’s students, is the new Explorers Secretary!

The local members of the Chamberlain Middle School Explorers elected their officers for the year recently and one of St. Joseph’s eighth graders, Kyle, was elected secretary.  The Explorers are a service club for sixth thru eighth grade boys that meet every Thursday at 7:30 AM at Chamberlain Elementary School.  This year seven St. Joseph’s students are taking part and four of them are new members.

The Explorers raise money through a variety of projects during the year and then donate the money for someone in need or to the Chamberlain community to help fund various projects.  Last year, they contributed to the new Chamberlain swimming pool complex. They also focus on civics and various lessons called ‘man stuff.’

The group also travels to Pierre to visit the State Capital and meet the Governor.  The year ends with a trip to a major league baseball game.

Two of St. Joseph’s students, Ramez and Tayeden, had a great time meeting donors at the luncheons in the Dallas, TX area. After the luncheons, they had the chance to visit the Texas State Fair and take a VIP tour of AT&T stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.  They even had the chance to visit the Cowboys’ locker room and have their pictures taken in front of the locker of their favorite player, Dez Bryant.

Last week saw the end of the golf season.  Chamberlain High School’s team won multiple invitationals and had all members qualify for the state tournament. Out of the 16 teams that took part, the Cubs came in 8th. Danny, one of St. Joseph’s students, placed in the top 25 as a junior. We are excited to support him next year!

Thank you for your generosity. YOU make everything we do possible.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,195 other followers